It is not exactly ‘beauty versus the beast’ like some pundits might ascribe. More like two teams, two managers with different ideologies to achieve a common goal. ‘Winning’. Chelsea take on Bayern Munich in the Uefa super cup today in the homeland of Petr Cech, but to most it is more than that. It is the coming together of two of the best football managers football has ever seen. Two winners, two geniuses, two managers who are the complete embodiment of what it is to be successful. This is the managerial version of Messi vs Ronaldo. Both men coached both. It is Guardiola vs Mourinho. Make no mistake about it. Tonight the players take the back seat and play second fiddle to their gaffers. The attention is on both managers and rightly so. Look at what they’ve both won and what they’ve both achieved and it is hard to dispute why tonight’s match has been billed a Pep Guardiola vs Jose Mourinho slug fest and not a Chelsea vs Bayern Munich tussle. Pepinho I like to call it. It is the winners of the champions league against the winners of the Europa league.
- Not like it might actually have a bearing on tonight’s game but let’s take a little history lesson shall we? Pep and Mourinho team have gone head to head on 15 different occasions with Pep winning 7, Jose 3 and 5 sparring contests ending in draws with Pep’s team scoring 26 to Jose’s 16. Jose’s 3 victories have come in a yearly interval with the first when Inter beat Barca in the first leg of the Uefa champions league semi final at the San Siro 3-1 in 2010. Followed by a much needed win in the Copa del Rey final in 2011 and the last victory in a league meeting in 2012 at the Nou camp which effectively ended Barcelona’s domestic dominance in the league. Of Pep’s 7 victories, one will not be forgotten by Jose in a hurry. It was a 5nil annihilation meted out on Real Madrid in November of 2010.
Tactics board: Both teams have a glut of talent in midfield and there are some key battles there. I expect Chelsea to keep it tight in the middle of the pack with Essien and Ramires or Mikel to stifle Bayern’s creativity from Thiago (if fit) and Mario Gotze in what will most likely be a 4-1-4-1 system for Bayern. Chelsea will most likely play on the break as they will seek to utilize the pace of Eden Hazard and Oscar in a straightforward 4-5-1. I would love to see Romelu Lukaku as Chelsea’s point man as he could pose a lot of trouble for Dante and co at the back for Bayern. Bayern’s biggest threat as always is from the flanks with usual suspects Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery expected to play instrumental roles again. Chelsea were blitzed in last year’s super cup by the brilliance of one man Falcao. To avoid a repeat, they need to keep an eye on the brilliance of Bayern’s wing maestros. Both teams drew their last league games. Chelsea were involved in a damp squib against Manchester United on Monday while Bayern conceded a late equaliser against Freiburg on Tuesday. Results wich showed that both teams are fully focused on tonight. There is so much at stake. For the sake of football, let’s all hope it all lives up to the hype. Bring on Pepinho.
- Prediction: Tough to call. Hardly anything to choose between both sides full of talent but I feel Bayern will just edge this one slightly 2-1 with Arjen Robben scoring against his old club and it will be a dream for Lukaku to get a goal just to show his worth to Jose. I rate him very highly as a striker. Footynyx.